Ac­claimed Arab authors set to take the Shar­jah stage

The National - News - - ARTS & LIFESTYLE SHARJAH BOOK FAIR - Saeed Saeed For more in­for­ma­tion on all ses­sions, in­clud­ing tim­ings, visit

Aplethora of lead­ing and emerg­ing Ara­bic names will ap­pear at the Shar­jah In­ter­na­tional Book Fair to dis­cuss trends sweep­ing the re­gional literary scene. Ses­sions will fea­ture such il­lus­tri­ous names as this year’s In­ter­na­tional Prize for Ara­bic Fic­tion (IPAF) win­ner Ibrahim Nas­ral­lah, Sheikh Zayed Book Award win­ner Khalil Sweileh and poet and nov­el­ist Ah­lam Mosteghanemi.

Fans of Nas­ral­lah will get a peek into his cre­ative process when the Pales­tinian author ar­rives at the book fair tonight. His open­ing night dis­cus­sion prom­ises to be an en­gross­ing af­fair, as Nas­ral­lah, who wrote the pensive IPAF win­ner The Sec­ond War of the Dog and the ro­man­tic po­etry col­lec­tion Love is the En­emy, will dis­cuss his in­spi­ra­tion and his ap­proach to characters and nar­ra­tive.

Syr­ian author Khalil Sweileh, mean­while, is still on the pub­lic­ity trail of his Sheikh Zayed Book Award-win­ning novel Re­morse Test, set in war-torn Da­m­as­cus. Sweileh will take part in an in­trigu­ing panel dis­cus­sion on Asia’s cul­tural di­ver­sity on Novem­ber 5. It will also fo­cus on the sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the lit­er­a­ture com­ing out of Asia and the Arab world.

Mosteghanemi’s ap­pear­ance at the fes­ti­val will be a meeting of friends. The feisty Al­ge­rian writer will use her Novem­ber 8 ap­pear­ance to launch her new novel As

Lovely as Farewell. But judg­ing by her pre­vi­ous vis­its, Mosteghanemi will also use the oc­ca­sion to pro­vide her elo­quent take on such sub­jects as lit­er­a­ture, cre­ativ­ity and re­la­tion­ships.

One of the coun­try’s lead­ing po­ets, Emi­rati writer Adel Khuzam, author of more than a dozen an­tholo­gies over a three-decade ca­reer, will ap­pear in a panel ses­sion about how po­etry, in­stead of prose, can be use­ful in ed­u­cat­ing stu­dents. The ses­sion will take place on Sun­day.

Kuwaiti sci-fi author Ab­del Wa­hab Al Sayed will be en­joy­ing all the book fair has to of­fer, af­ter hav­ing agreed to take part in three ses­sions span­ning both week­ends. A high­light of which will be the Magic and Writ­ing panel dis­cus­sion, to be held tonight. The author will team up with Egyp­tian thriller writer Ahmed Mourad, to ex­plore how the su­per­nat­u­ral re­mains a dom­i­nant theme of their re­spec­tive works.

Crit­i­cally adored writer Alawiya Sobh is also on her way to Shar­jah. With a list of plau­dits that in­clude the 2007 Sul­tan Qa­boos Award for Cul­ture, Art and Lit­er­a­ture, and be­ing longlisted for the IPAF award on two oc­ca­sions, Sobh – who also works as an edi­tor – will take part in a dis­cus­sion on Fri­day night, fo­cus­ing on the of­ten fraught re­la­tion­ship be­tween writ­ers and pub­lish­ers.

On Fadi Az­zam’s mind this week­end will be lit­er­a­ture’s abil­ity to bridge cul­tures. The Syr­ian author of the 2011 IPAF-nom­i­nated

Sar­mada, which has been trans­lated to English, will take part in the Lit­er­a­ture Across Borders panel dis­cus­sion on Fri­day night. He will join ac­claimed Ja­panese novelists Hogo Oke­tani, Naoko Kishida and Kanako Nishi in look­ing at how the writ­ten word can travel far be­yond our re­spec­tive so­ci­eties.

The Shar­jah Book Fair will fea­ture ses­sions with il­lus­tri­ous literary names in­clud­ing poet and nov­el­ist Ah­lam Mosteghanemi


Ibrahim Nas­ral­lah won the 2018 In­ter­na­tional Prize for Ara­bic Fic­tion for his book ‘The Sec­ond War of the Dog’

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